IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
ACTION NO.2768 OF 2003
ACTION NO.743 OF 2004
Before : Hon Waung J in Court
Date of Hearing : 23 March 2006
Date of Judgment : 23 March 2006
J U D G M E N T
1. I have an application for amendment made by Miss Lau for Longwill to introduce several paragraphs to the Defence whereby an additionalcase which had been dealt with in the evidence is sought to be formally amended and put into the pleadings.
2. The application is made on Day 11 of this Trial. This has been a long and troublesome trial and I would not be exaggerating if Isay that constant effort has been made throughout to supervise, to manage and to police at times the warring disputes between theparties. It has not been an easy case and certainly has not been an easy trial.
3. The matters that are sought to be raised in the proposed amendment had been canvassed both in the various addresses by counsel aswell as in the evidence given so far mainly by Mr Tang. I ask counsel for the plaintiff whether his client is in any way prejudicedby this late amendment — late, of course, it is, and the answer is “no”. Now, in these circumstances, having regard to thefact that the matter, specially the factual matters, sought to be raised are all covered by the correspondence, it seems to me that,although it is late, I should allow the amendment. I am not unaware of the modern trend to refuse amendment, specially when theycome late in the day, and it does not have to be even as late as the trial. I have in the past refused many amendments even shortlybefore trial and even earlier, having regard to Ketteman v Hansel Properties case in the House of Lords. The modern trend is to look much more robustly at late amendment. But this is a case where I think in allfairness this amendment should come in so that it is fairly before all of us and so that we can deal with it and the matters thereincan be further ventilated.
4. I therefore do allow the amendment as requested by Miss Lau without of course paragraph 15F.
Mr George Chu, instructed by Messrs Kitty So & Tong, for the Plaintiff
Mr Jasper Kwan, instructed by Messrs Raymond Chan, Kenneth Yuen & Co., for the Defendants in HCA2768/2003
Miss Lorinda Lau, instructed by Messrs Alvin Cheng & Rosaline Choy, for the Defendant in HCA743/2004